Studierstube ES

Our all new software framework Studierstube ES is a second general handheld AR platform. Written from scratch in mid of 2006 is represents a radical new way of doing Augmented Reality (AR) on handheld devices. Other than previous attempts it makes no more compromises by using software that was primarily written for other platforms. Studierstube ES was designed from ground up to make best use of the handheld platforms. It is not a prototype, but a a complete solution for AR on PDAs and mobile phones that can be used for development real live applications of commercial grade.

Studierstube ES operates cross-platform (Windows, Windows CE and Symbian) and addresses graphics, video, tracking, multimedia, persistent storage, multi-user synchronisation and application authoring tools.

It offers the richest feature set and highest performance for developing Augmented Reality applications on handheld devices at the commercial market as well as in academia. It is based on over ten years of development of AR software and four years of specialization on handheld devices. As a result, Studierstube ES offers some unique features that enable handheld devices to run AR applications that were previously deemed impossible. It allows targeting a wide variety of devices (Windows CE and Symbian, with and without embedded 3D graphics acceleration) and has a convenient high-level API with cross-platform emulation capabilities.


Other than traditional stationary AR systems, mobile handheld devices give the unique possibility to allow thousands of user to share their Augmented Reality experience. For setups such as multi-user games or collaborative applications, a powerful client software is not enough: A strong and prototyping capable networking middleware is needed that allow connecting those clients. Studierstube ES is includes networking extensions that make it easy to create shared applications and games. While it can run standalone, the true power of handheld Augmented Reality becomes available when combining it with its server-side counterparts.

Highlights of the Client Software

  • Supports Windows CE, Symbian, Windows 2k/XP
  • Highly configurable to optimally use available hardware
  • Highly optimized fixed-point math classes
  • Small memory footprint (400KB minimum for a useable system)
  • Dedicated render paths for software and hardware 3D accelerated devices
  • Lightweight XML-based scene graph for rapid application development based on OpenGL ES
  • Multimedia playback: MPEG4 video, flash, OGG audio, 3D key framing and video textures
  • Import from major file formats: Autodesk Scene Export (ASE), Wavefront OBJ and VRML
  • ARToolKitPlus – fastest marker-based tracking library for handhelds; typically 10ms per tracked marker on today’s smartphones, reliable detection of thousands of markers simultaneously
  • Content protection, binds Studierstube ES to a specific device and protectes against reading or modifying the content outside the application

Highlights of the Server Software

  • Real-time multiplayer XML server
  • Suitable for hundreds of simultaneous clients
  • Persistence of application/game state
  • Content-based addressing using an easy to use XML dialect
  • Works with XML compatible standard tools
  • Server-side extensions for application/game logic (state machine based, story-telling)
  • Graphical front-end and visual programming tools
  • Multiple API bindings: C++, shared memory, Java, XML

Applications built with Studierstube ES

Studierstube ES has been the basis for several, partially commercial projects:

  • Cows vs. Aliens, a networked, multi-player game
  • Signpost2007, the location aware conference guide
  • Vidente, city sub-surface data visualization
  • Sphinx, a game engine for creating Augmented Reality museum adventure games
  • Invisible Train 2007, a remake of the well known Invisible Train of 2003

Want to know more?

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